Thirteenth-century Thai Buddhist architecture inspired by the ancient city of Sukhothai is melded with modern lines, peaked roofs, and white minimalism to create this stunning hotel. Buddha statues and domelike, brick stupa replicas (like those seen at local temples) sit in long, moatlike pools lined with giant urns, while magenta bougainvilleas tumble from bordering high ledges. The 82-foot infinity pool, surrounded by tropical gardens, is perfect for chilling out on a hot day. This is a haunt of the jet set, from politicians to celebrities, and everyone is dressed their best. But despite its grand size, the hotel exudes a feeling of balance and calm—thanks in no small part to its water gardens and tasteful decor. Dining is available at several celebrated restaurants, and late-night whiskey drinking can be had at the intimate Zuk Bar, with its finely carved golden fish on the ceiling. While centrally located, the hotel acts as a charming escape from Bangkok
’s frenetic pace.